Malai Tikka with Gravy

Servings : Serves 5-6

A wonderfully combination of spicy grilled chicken in a rich and decadent creamy tomato sauce. This dish goes perfectly with either parathas or naans, or over plain rice.

Ingredients for Chicken Marinade

  • 1.2-1.5 kg whole chicken, cut into 8-12 pieces (skin removed)
  • 3 tbsp thick yoghurt
  • 3 tbsp fresh or cooking cream
  • 1/2 tbsp garlic paste
  • 1/2 tbsp ginger paste
  • 1 tbsp tandoori masala
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 2 tsp paprika powder
  • 1/2 tsp fresh fenugreek (or a quarter tsp dried fenugreek)
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp melted butter

Ingredients for Creamy Tomato Sauce

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp garlic paste
  • 1 tsp ginger paste
  • 5-6 medium tomatoes, very finely chopped (300 gm)
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste/puree
  • 1 green chilli, finely sliced
  • 1/2 cup fresh cream
  • salt to taste
  • fresh coriander for garnishing (optional)


Combine all the marinade ingredients in a large bowl. Make some slits into the chicken pieces and then slather the marinade mixture onto the chicken. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to overnight.

Remove the chicken from the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before you begin so that it comes to room temperature.

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C.

Place the chicken pieces onto an oiled oven grill, taking care to place a tray underneath to catch any drippings which we shall use later in the sauce. Also, if any marinade remains do not discard it we shall cook it in the sauce later as well.

Grill the chicken pieces for 8-10 minutes on each side or until slightly charred. The chicken will continue to cook in the sauce later so do not worry if it looks under-cooked at this stage. Once grilled, set aside and begin on making the tomato cream sauce.

In a large pan, combine the butter and oil, then add the ginger and garlic pastes followed by the green chilli. Once aromatic, add in the finely chopped tomatoes and the tomato paste. Cook whilst stirring regularly until the tomatoes are mushy and the oil begins to get released from the sides.

Next, add the grilled chicken pieces, any remaining marinade and drippings from grilling plus some salt. Stir everything together and lower the heat. Cover and cook for 10 additional minutes, giving an occasional stir.

Finally, add the cream and cook for another couple of minutes. Taste and adjust the salt if needed. You can at this point smoke the chicken if you want a smoky flavour. Garnish with a bit of fresh coriander and serve with accompaniments of your choice.


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